Following the publishing of the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce report, “From Lament to Action,” Bishop James and Bishop Simon have issued a statement:
“Today the Archbishops’ Anti-Racism Taskforce has published its report ‘From Lament to Action’.
“It calls out the ‘sin of racism’ within the Church and offers 47 challenging action points to move us beyond our cycle of talking, beyond lament and finally to action.
“We welcome this report and acknowledge all that it says to us about the failures of the Church to eradicate the injustice of racism and discrimination in our midst.
“There is a shameful story here of lack of effective action over many years. We must and will take seriously what it is says to us and we commit to giving space within our diocesan structures to digest, process and act upon it.
“Issued on Stephen Lawrence Day, this report also comes in a week when we – particularly those of us who are white and experience the privilege that this affords us in the Church – have been shown again, through documentaries like the BBC Panorama programme aired on Monday night, through the events in the USA, and through today’s Commonwealth War Graves Commission report, the real and lasting pain that has and is being experienced by our brothers and sisters of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic heritage within the Church and wider society.
“We would urge all our parishes and diocesan bodies to take time to read and reflect upon the report, as we recognise the part we all must play in moving forward on this matter.
“For now, we give thanks for the work of those who have brought this report and its actions point to us. We lament the failings it shows us, and look ahead to how we can and must work together to make the change required of us.”
Bishop James, Bishop of Rochester
Bishop Simon, Bishop of Tonbridge